Sir Eric Ash CBE FREng FRS

Eric Ash was electrical engineer who made significant contributions in electron optics and pioneered research on surface acoustic waves for signal processing. This technology has important uses in mobile phones, televisions and space-borne communications systems.

Eric's research led to new techniques and improvements in the resolution of acoustic microscopes. These specialised instruments use ultrahigh-frequency sound waves to probe the internal features of solid materials for defects. They are often used in the manufacture of electronic components.

After retiring from Rector of Imperial College London in 1993, Eric worked on educational technology as an emeritus professor at University College London. Amongst Eric’s many awards are the 1984 Marconi Prize and the Institution of Electrical Engineers’ Faraday Medal in 1980. His public service included chairing the BBC’s Science Advisory Committee, acting as a trustee of both the Royal Institution and the Science Museum, and serving as a member of the Advisory Council of the Campaign for Science and Engineering. He was knighted in 1990.

Sir Eric Ash CBE FREng FRS died on 22 August 2021.

Subject groups

  • Other

    Other interests, Science policy

  • Engineering

    Engineering, electronics


  • Clifford Paterson Medal and Lecture

    On 'Recent advances in acoustic imaging'.

  • Royal Medals

    In recognition of his outstanding researches on acoustic microscopy leading to wholly new techniques and substantial improvements in resolution of acoustic microscopes.

Sir Eric Ash CBE FREng FRS
Elected 1977